PetroVietnam to Import 640,000 tons of crude oil
HANOI: Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, the owner of the country's only refinery, will import 640,000 metric tons of crude in the first six months of 2011, a 60 percent increase on total overseas purchases this year.
The state-owned company, known as PetroVietnam, will buy one 80,000 ton cargo of Malaysian crude each month from BP Plc, Nguyen Hoai Giang, general director of Binh Son Refinery and PetroChemical Co., the company that runs the Dung Quat plant, said by telephone yesterday. A total of 400,000 tons of crude was imported in 2010, Giang said.
BP signed an agreement with PetroVietnam in January 2009 to supply crude to Dung Quat, which has an annual capacity of 6.5 million tons. Commercial production at the plant started in February last year.
PetroVietnam will buy another two 80,000 ton spot cargoes during the first half of 2011, Giang said. Details have yet to be decided, he added.
Dung Quat will use less domestic crude from the aging Bach Ho field during the first half of 2011, Giang said. Imported crude will constitute 13 percent to 22 percent of the refinery's consumption.
"The reason for this is so that we can test different operation modes with the most efficient source of oil," Giang said. "Bach Ho oil is very expensive in the world market. So instead of using expensive oil to make fuel, we can use a cheaper source of crude."
Dung Quat will produce about 4.9 million tons of petroleum products in 2011, PetroVietnam said Nov. 9. It will temporarily halt production for two months for maintenance in 2011, probably in July and August.
Moreover, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., along with its Kerr-McGee Corp. unit, may face liability for cleaning up 2,800 contaminated sites as part of a lawsuit brought by its spinoff Tronox Inc. and the government, a lawyer said.
Anadarko, one of the world's largest independent oil and natural-gas producers, was sued by its former subsidiary, Tronox, which is now in bankruptcy, and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for cleanup costs at 70 sites included in Tronox's spinoff in 2006.
Dennis Wanlass, Tronox's chief executive officer, couldn't get answers to what the "environmental footprint" of the company was when he joined in 2008, according to Jeffrey Zeiger, an attorney for the Oklahoma City-based company.
"Our experts have been working very, very hard to answer that question," Zeiger told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper yesterday. "Now we've settled that there are around 2,800 sites that Tronox became exclusively liable for through the IPO."
Duke McCall, a lawyer for Anadarko, said the government hasn't produced documents to prove its case.
"We're missing docs from 1,900 sites at which they allege there are liabilities," McCall told the judge. "We're being asked to defend against a claim for which we do not have the underlying factual information," including the sites' locations, potential cleanup costs, alleged contamination and Anadarko's claimed connection to the sites, McCall said.
Tronox has won court confirmation of a plan to reorganize and is waiting for public comments on an environmental settlement before it exits bankruptcy protection.
Under the settlement, Tronox set aside $320 million to cover what it estimated were government environmental claims of $1.4 billion to $5 billion. -Bloomberg